Using these five techniques, you can help ensure that your sales presentation speaks directly to the prospect and close the deal.
The sales presentation has long been an important tool for providing potential clients with information and addressing any concerns they may have. Unfortunately, conducting an effective sales presentation is becoming a lost art. Too often, the sales presentation turns into a boring lecture on the generic benefits of a product or service. Often, a sales presentation fails to provide prospects with actionable information directly related to their specific needs and concerns. When that happens, the sales presentation becomes a time waster for the sales person and the prospect. Using these five techniques, you can help ensure that your sales presentation speaks directly to the prospect, and gives them the information they need to close the deal.
It’s OK to have a general outline for a sales presentation. However, the outline should only be used as the foundation for a presentation that’s customized to your prospects. You should create a presentation that speaks directly to the challenges and pain points faced by your prospects. Use the time to explain exactly how your services address those points in ways that other services don’t. Showing that you have a deep understanding of the problems they face, and are able to predict future problems and solutions will set you apart from the crowd.
Your presentation should not focus on marketing to the prospect, or giving them an overview of your entire line of products. By the time they sit down for a sales presentation, your prospects should have gotten all of that information through nurturing. The presentation should be all about what you can do for them, not what you can do for everyone. If the presentation is overly complex, or strays into complex issues that aren’t immediately relevant, you stand a good chance of losing their attention. Remain focused on the problems, and solutions, at hand. If other problems come to light during the presentation, it may be best to address those directly in another presentation.
It’s not unusual for a company to have several interrelated issues that they want to deal with. Trying to address all of them in single presentation could lead to information overload. The prospect will hear so much information that they won’t have time to absorb all of it in a single sitting. When preparing for the presentation, create a list of known and potential issues, and arrange them in order of importance. Try to address a single large issue and two or three smaller issues in each presentation. If you try to cover everything in a single presentation, you could overwhelm the prospect and scare them away.
Like every other step in the sales funnel, a sales presentation only works if the prospect has been properly nurtured. The presentation is about solving problems and closing the deal; it’s not about marketing and product descriptions. Having prospects sit through a presentation too early in the sales cycle is often a waste of time. Until they’re ready to buy from somebody, it’s not time to show them why they should buy from you. Make sure that your marketing and nurturing efforts aren’t putting prospects into sales presentations prematurely.
Nobody likes to be lectured to. Prospects attend presentations to get useful information and to find out if you’re the person to address their needs. If they feel like you’re telling them how to run their business, or ignoring their concerns, they’ll simply move on to another vendor. Be prepared to answer questions, and to engage in a dialog, if that’s what the prospect prefers. Have a script and materials prepared, but don’t be afraid to abandon them if the prospect would rather have a conversation. Remember, the sales presentation is about laying their fears to rest; it’s not about showing off your presentation skills.
Claire has 4+ years of experience in sales and recruitment. As a Director of Client Services, her main objective is to connect great people to great companies by building strong relationships with both top clients and candidates in the sales industry. She specializes in sales roles of all seniority levels for both enterprise and start-up clients North American wide. When Claire isn't networking with top talent, she enjoys being outdoors, traveling and spending time with friends & family.